The Hayden girls basketball team had a game Tuesday night, but coach Jayme Adams said the Tigers decided not to show up.
The Steamboat Springs JV team defeated Hayden's varsity, 53-38, in a game the Sailors controlled offensively and defensively from the opening tip.
"They were excited to play Steamboat," Adams said. "As a team, they didn't play well, and they know they didn't play well. I'd rather it be this game, though, than this weekend."
Tuesday was a nonleague game for the Tigers. Friday, Hayden plays at Soroco, and Saturday the team goes to Paonia in two crucial league match-ups. The Tigers will have to value the ball much better against both teams, particularly against the full-court press, if they expect to win.
Steamboat coach Tara Arroyo, meanwhile, was pleased with the way the Sailors responded against a varsity squad even though both teams are essentially made up of sophomores and juniors.
Arroyo said Steamboat has increased its intensity since the Jan. 23 game against Moffat County, and the emphasis being placed on full-court defense has translated into better overall play.
"After the Moffat County game, we decided we had to be more aggressive defensively," Arroyo said. "I usually teach to be aggressive, and I felt I wasn't doing that."
The Sailors pestered the Tigers' guards the entire game regardless of where they were on the court, forcing Hayden to turn the ball over before it could even get into its half-court offense.
Steals translate into quick and easy points, and Steamboat capitalized on its possessions.
"Tara stresses defense and passing," sophomore Tara King said. "She says 'make the easy pass not the fancy pass.'"
King scored a game-high 15 points, while Hayden junior Alycia Boyd led the way for her team with 14.
Sophomores Missy Chotvacs and Jessica Peters had 11 each for the Sailors, while junior Jamie Waugh contributed 7 points for the Tigers.
Adams said Waugh and Boyd, despite being 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-9, respectively, continue to come up big for the Tigers down low.
"They play well together," she said.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org